Magglio Ordonez to begin rehab assignment Friday

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Magglio Ordonez has been cleared for game action after taking two weeks off to rest his surgically repaired ankle, so he’ll begin a rehab assignment Friday at Triple-A.

According to Jason Beck of MLB.com the Tigers haven’t said how long they expect Ordonez to spend in the minors, so presumably his bat will determine the timetable after he hit just .172 in 26 games before being placed on the disabled list.

Jim Leyland told Beck that he’s “really anxious to see if Magglio can get back in there.”  Complicating the issue is that Ordonez will have to play the outfield when he’s in the lineup thanks to Alex Avila’s strong play at catcher making Victor Martinez a fixture at designated hitter.

Platooning the right-handed-hitting Ordonez with the left-handed-hitting Brennan Boesch would limit the wear and tear on his ankle while also giving him favorable matchups against left-handed pitching.

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.

Rockies sign 30-year lease to stay in Coors Field

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Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.

As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.

Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”

The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.